Picture of Industrial looking hanging media shelves
We have a lot of media, and we needed a nice way to display it and make it accessible.  We also wanted something that would fit our design style.  Last criteria, it needed to be something that I can make.  While I am fairly handy, I am no cabinet maker.  This design allows for some slop :)

The main picture below shows eight shelves of six foot board.  This will hold a grand total of about 960 movies.  This is what I will be describing in this instructable.

The second picture is a five foot wide with six staggered shelves version.  While slightly more complicated, it should be easy to figure out after this instructable.

The basic idea is that I would use heavy duty hooks, steel cable, and wood shelves to build it (basically cheaper stuff that I can find at home depot).  The wire would fit into a groove that I cut and I would use a stopper fastener on the wire to keep it in place.

Keep in mind this is just hanging on the wall, and can move, so don't put anything really breakable on it.  Especially with little ones around.

Check out my other industrial shelves for a complete set: Equipment Shelves and TV Ledge

hmmmmmm, that looks like a T-Maxx on the floor.....
or a Revo... LOL
did you really just laugh out loud?
Iridium7 zwild15 years ago
 nah he LQTM. (laughed quietly to himself) more honest.
craineum (author)  phantom309oo75 years ago
You are both right... Highly modified Original T-Maxx, a Revo, also a Titan and an Ultra LX Pro (and a Mini T... etc...)
Hmmm...where did you "steal" the cable. LOL
craineum (author)  monstergramma5 years ago
:) Thanks...
blakelock5 years ago
hi all,
great idea to use the slot and sunken hole for the cables and washers.  that's a slick solution.  i'm sure the cables and the hooks in the studs are strong enough.  no problem there.  i think the weak point is the slot and sunken hole cut into the shelves.  i can imagine that small rectangular corner breaking off the shelf if enough load is on it.  it might be better to cut the slot as far away from the edge as possible (or aesthetically acceptable) and cut the slot with the grain of the wood.  then, the intact wood at the corner would go with the grain instead of against it and would be less likely to pop off.
again, sweet design.
craineum (author)  blakelock5 years ago
That is a good idea.  I mention somewhere in the build that 1/2 was not enough, but I had not thought about cutting the slot with the grain.

cyclohexane5 years ago
 Looks Awesome!!! I've thought about doing something similar but with all-thread instead of cables. Great Instructable!
With all thread you could adjust the shelves and use nuts or lock nuts as the stoppers.  Then you could drill a hole in the all thread to attach the cable to hang from the wall or some kind of cap  I think this would be more stable and even swing less.  Good Idea. 
craineum (author)  Hiroak5 years ago
Very true, good ideas.  Would probably try this next time.  Actually if you were to use short pieces of threaded rod and then some kind of extended nut for coupling it would be really easy to pack/put together and add more shelves at a later time.

Love this site!

Thanks guys!
jdege5 years ago
Did you do any strength-of-materials calculations?

DVDs are fairly light.  But once you put a shelf up, people tend to use it for whatever is convenient without thinking about what it was designed for.  Picture these shelves holding paperback books.  With that many shelves hanging from just three anchors, you could be talking about a significant load.

You said, in your instructions, to use "Heavy Duty Steel Hooks".  I'd second that.  This isn't a project where you'd want to skimp on the hardware. 

craineum (author)  jdege5 years ago
I did a little.  I know that the cable is about 900lbs break strength (now times this by 6 cables).  The hooks were a couple hundred lbs a piece (Will look this up tonight).  The shelves only have to carry the weight of what is on them.  So really it is up to the stud/top plate you are putting it into.  Which I don't really know what that strength would be?!?  Hope this answers the question.

Again though these shelves are hanging and can swing freely, so anything too heavy would be a bad idea to start with.
jdege craineum5 years ago
A six-foot shelf of paperback books weighs something like 80 pounds.  Six shelves would be 480 pounds.  The cable is easily strong enough.  The hooks might be a bit close, but you're probably fine there, too.  So long as you're screwing into the joists or top plate, and haven't hit a void or a knot.

The essential question is whether they are strong enough to hold whatever people some day trying to put on them.  If they feel flimsy, people won't stack them with heavy books.  In other words, they need to be stronger than they look.

I only ask because I always ask.  Not will they hold what you intend them to hold when you build them, but will they hold what someone else, years later, tries to pile on them?  Will they hold when a five-year-old tries to climb them like a ladder, to get something off the top shelf?  And will they not topple over on him when he does?

I don't have doubts about your construction, I just jumped in because I think that some discussion is warranted.

craineum (author)  jdege5 years ago
Discussion is warranted and welcome.  I like it when people make me think, it is the only way to improve.

As I have a 4 and 2 year old, I thought about the climbing issue, especially since they swing (and can be deemed fun).  I feel very confident they would hold a 50lbs 5 year old, not that I am encouraging that or anything ;)

On that subject my son ripped the label off the hooks that I got, so I need to head to Home Depot to check the load for sure.
lemonie5 years ago
Nice shelves, they do look solid.